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Zendesk logo RGB.png
Type of business Public
Traded as NYSEZEN
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Key people
  • Mikkel Svane
  • Alexander Aghassipour
  • Morten Primdahl
Revenue Increase US$311.999 million (2016)
Employees 1,700
Website www.zendesk.com
Launched 2007 (2007)

Zendesk Inc. is a global customer service software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Zendesk builds software to help companies improve customer relationships through higher customer engagement and better customer insights.[1] It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol ZEN and is a constituent of the Russell 2000 Index.[2] Founded in 2007, the company now has over 1,700 employees and serves 100,000 paid customers in 150 countries and territories.[3][4]


Zendesk was founded in 2007 by Mikkel Svane, Morten Primdahl, and Alexander Aghassipour. The company was started in a loft located in Copenhagen, Denmark.[5] The three men were working in customer service solutions and found several problems with customer tracking and incident reporting software. This prompted them to create an alternative that would be simple and intuitive to use.[6] In June 2008, Zendesk received US$ 500,000 in seed funding from angel investor Christoph Janz.[7] In 2009, following a $6 million series B funding from Charles River Ventures and Benchmark Capital,[8] the company moved to San Francisco to establish its headquarters. In April 2014, Zendesk acquired Zopim Technologies Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based provider of live chat software.[9] Zendesk would eventually turn this software into Zopim Premium Live Chat.[10] In May 2014, Zendesk became a publicly-traded company, debuting with an IPO price of $9 per share.[11] On October 13, 2015, Zendesk acquired We Are Cloud SAS for $45.0 million.[12] We Are Cloud is the maker of BIME Analytics software, the technology that Zendesk now uses to power its customer data platform.[13]

Products and technology[edit]

Product families[edit]

Zendesk's family of products[14] represent the shift the company has made from a single customer service product to a unified consortium of products that are all focused on improving customer relationships.[15] The products help organizations better understand their customers, improve communication, and offer support where and when it is most needed.[15] All of the products in the Zendesk family work closely together through a common user interface and are being developed to provide a single login and a shared customer data platform. The family includes: Support, Guide, Connect, Explore, Help Center, Chat, Talk, and Message.[14]

The software is written in Ruby on Rails, and is notable for its ability to integrate with dozens of content management systems, customer relationship management tools, and web apps.[16][17] The platform is available for mobile and tablet.[18] In 2011 the firm founded the Networked Help Desk initiative to create an open standard for sharing information between separate customer support applications.[19] In December 2013, the firm announced integrations with SurveyMonkey and MailChimp to support the launch of surveys and email campaigns from within Zendesk.[20]


Zendesk Support is a system for tracking, prioritizing, and solving customer support tickets.[21] It puts all customer information in one place so that everything is in a single location.[22] As a result, communication between Zendesk users and their customers is efficient, relevant, and personal. Zendesk Support is designed to be flexible because no two businesses are exactly alike. It configures any workflow, from the simplest to the most complex, while providing clear visibility into customer interactions. This is important because personalized service requires greater context. Using customer analytics and machine learning capabilities, Zendesk customers can better understand and predict customer satisfaction, measure performance, and uncover actionable insights across their data.[23]


Zendesk Guide provides machine learning powered, self-service customer support. Through the use of a combination of the Zendesk API, Web Widget, and Mobile SDK as Zendesk Embeddables, Guide allows companies to deliver intelligent, contextual customer service responses on whatever app or website a customer is using. Guide features the Answer Bot (an AI assistant) and the Knowledge Capture App (an agent-focused content creation app).[24]


Zendesk Connect is customer intelligence software built for targeted campaigns and proactive engagement.[25] Connect allows businesses to get to know their customers by collecting customer data from across the Zendesk family of products and providing a complete timeline of events and conversations.

By creating segments of customers based on behavior or profile, identifying trends, or triggering targeted campaigns, it works to get the right message to the right customers. As a result, use of the software can build loyalty and trust. A proactive heads up about issues or a well-timed tip for newbies may deliver assistance before customers know they need it. Zendesk CEO Michael Svane stated, "it provides predictors of where a relationship might move."[25]


Zendesk Explore, formerly BIME Analytics, provides analytics to measure and understand the entire customer experience.[26] The product works to make teamwork more efficient by measuring team performance and workload capacity. It has the ability to learn how customers use a business' website, products, or support channels. By analyzing data from every step of a customer's journey, Explore helps understand and improve each customer experience.

The easy-to-use interface and interactive drill-ins surface valuable insights that customers ask for most. By enabling them to create custom metrics, reports, and dashboards, and even perform data joins without SQL, data gets turned into meaningful analyses. Zendesk SVP of Product, Adrian McDermott explained it as "everyman business intelligence” – taking information from Zendesk products and third-party data to get everything in one place.[26]

Chat (Formerly Zopim)[edit]

Zendesk Chat (formerly Zopim) is an online marketing, live chat support and web analytics product that is offered as a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) model. The product enables companies to chat with visitors in real-time on their websites.[27] A website owner must embed the Zendesk Chat widget into their website's HTML code. Then they can chat with their visitors via the dashboard control panel.[28]

Zopim was founded in 2008 by Royston Tay, Wenxiang Wu, Yang Bin Kwok and Lim Qing Ru.[29] The idea for Zopim live chat emerged while the founders were studying together at Stanford on the NUS Overseas College Program in 2008.[30]

In 2010, Zopim incorporated as a private company and launched its freemium pricing model. They also received seed funding and investment from Media Development Authority’s (MDA) i.JAM program, SPRING Singapore and NUS.[29][31] At that time it was listed in Asia’s Top 10 Apps at Accelerate 2010.[32]

In 2014, Zopim was acquired by Zendesk Inc.[33][34][35]

In February 2015, Zopim moved to a new office in Singapore that also functions as Zendesk’s Asia-Pacific Headquarters.[36][37]

In March 2015, Zendesk formed a partnership with Facebook’s new Businesses on Messenger product.[38] Zopim live chat was the technology powering Businesses on Messenger.[39][40]

In April 2015, Zopim introduced a Premium plan which offers support team leaders workforce management tools on top of the regular chat reports and metrics.[41] Later it was named best Live Chat Software in the Cloudswave Awards 2015.[42] Also in October 2015, TalentLMS has released an update to the Learning Management System that allowed for integration between the two. When integrated, Zopim is to be utilized as means of communication between the learners and the instructional designer [43] On October 26, 2016, Zopim was renamed to Zendesk Chat, aligning with the Zendesk family of products.[44]


Zendesk Talk is a cloud-based call center software that can immediately get customers in touch with a company representative via any Internet-connected device.[45] Since it is built right into the Zendesk Support ticketing system, Talk gives customer service teams the ability to provide phone support from the same platform they utilize to manage all of their other channels. They have access to customer history, automatic ticket creation, and call recording, which means agents can focus on conversations with the customers instead of navigating workflow.[15][46]

Talk offers flexible IVR, group routing, and real-time queue monitoring to avoid bottlenecks. With analytics that deliver insight into what is happening, support teams can are equipped to provide flexible, powerful support as businesses evolve.[46] Talk allows businesses to create phone numbers and forward calls to customer representatives’ devices, forgoing the need for physical call centers.[47]


This digital communications channel gives businesses the opportunity to reach and market to a new generation of customers. Zendesk Message is a messaging software that helps companies engage customers on their favorite messaging apps, like Facebook and Twitter. Using Zendesk Message, businesses can blend human agents with bots to increase efficiency.[10]


Inbox allows Zendesk customers to collaborate on a marketing campaign or any other influx of emails, with the ability to add private notes and follow key conversations.[48]


Embeddables allows companies to build customer support functions into mobile and web applications.[49] This includes a mobile Software Development Kit, which lets companies offer self-service via Help Center. With embeddables users are able to create support tickets or chat real-time with a Help Center representative through their preferred mobile apps or online sites. This eliminates the need to leave the app for a third-party help center.[50] The tech support process is part of the native experience on the site or application.[51]


Relate is Zendesk’s online publication, featuring editorial content dedicated to customer service and business relationships. It connects the business side of what Zendesk does – create software for improving customer interactions – to the more general human desire for better relationships.[52] Relate has also been adopted as the branding name for Zendesk conferences, which specialize in customer service case studies, brand relationships and engagement, and industry changes.[53][54]


  • 2017- Zendesk was recognized by DestinationCRM as a 2017 CRM Service Leader
  • 2016 – FastCompany ranked Zendesk 5th on its list of Most Innovative Companies in Enterprise Software[55]
  • 2016 – Svane included in the Inc. Founders 40 list[56]
  • 2015 – Winner of the Most Innovative Use of Big Data at the UK Cloud Awards[57]
  • 2015 – Svane, Primdahl, and Aghassipour were included in the Business Insider Silicon Valley 100[58]
  • 2015 – Svane was included in Inc. Magazine’s Top 40 CEOs to watch[59]
  • 2015 – Zendesk ranked first among Bay Area technology companies for highest percentage of women holding director roles and high-paying positions[60]
  • 2015 – Rachel Delacour, CEO of BIME Analytics, won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year for Business Products with 11 or more employees[61]


Zendesk Neighbor Foundation[edit]

Zendesk’s headquarters is located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco and has made several philanthropic initiatives and charitable donations to the area. The Zendesk Neighbor Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Zendesk, launched $1 million in funding for local charities working on social issues.[62] In 2015, Zendesk Neighbor Foundation donated $100,000 to St. Anthony’s Tenderloin Technology Lab.[63] Since then, the Foundation has also expanded to the communities of Melbourne, Australia;[64] London, England;[65] and Madison, Wisconsin,[66] where the company has made $100,000+ donations per community to Boys and Girls Clubs, public libraries, employment workshops, Autism organizations, and other local non-profits.

Link-SF, Copenhelp and Link-Dane[edit]

Aside from monetary contributions, Zendesk has also used its technology to develop Link-SF. Link-SF is an app that helps homeless people find shelter, food, medical care, technology access, and hygiene services.[67][68][69] Subsequent to Link SF, Zendesk launched two similar apps: Copenhelp (for Copenhagen)[70] and Link-Dane (for Madison, Wisconsin).[71]

Other Initiatives[edit]

Zendesk joined over 100 companies in filing an Amicus Brief opposing Executive Order 13769. [72]


Zendesk has offices worldwide in London, Madison, Taguig (Manila), Copenhagen, Dublin, Tokyo, Montpellier, Berlin, Melbourne, Singapore, and Sao Paulo.[73]


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